Nitish calls situation 'difficult', BJP hits back at JD-U
Patna: In a clear indication towards a split in the BJP-JD-U combine, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said the situation in the alliance was now "difficult", while the BJP accused his party of trying to split it.
"The situation is difficult now," Nitish Kumar told the media when he was asked about relations between the two parties.
The Chief Minister then recited an Urdu couplet: "Dua detey hai jeene ki, dawa detey hai marne ki (they wish me well, but the medicine they have offered will kill)".
Without taking names, he said some BJP leaders wanted the 17-year-old alliance between the two parties in the state to continue "but are not ready to listen us".
Nitish Kumar said Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leaders will discuss the state of affairs.
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, meanwhile, said neither of the parties wanted the alliance to break, but they needed to take decision "according to the situation".
Meanwhile, in the most direct charge so far, BJP's Bihar president Mangal Pandey accused the JD-U of trying to destabilise his party.
"JD-U is trying to break the BJP in Bihar. This is objectionable and not good for democracy," Pandey told the media after a meeting of BJP workers and leaders including legislators and ministers.
Pandey said several JD-U leaders, including ministers, legislators and MPs, were in touch with BJP legislators in a bid to woo them into the JD-U.
"It is very objectionable that JD-U leaders have approached BJP legislators and persuaded them to join JD-U. They also assured them berths in the cabinet and other lucrative posts for their support," he said.
The development came as most BJP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, skipped office for a second straight day Friday.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj stressed that National Democratic Alliance (NDA) needed to stick together to defeat the Congress.
"Only a united opposition can defeat Congress. Whenever opposition got united, Congress was defeated," tweeted Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha.
"Therefore, NDA's unity is a historical necessity. We must do everything to keep NDA united," she said.
Party leader Ravishankar Prasad said: "Our relationship is 18 years old, this whole idea came into being with a collective wish to ensure good governance in Bihar."
Relations between the two parties hit a low after Nitish Kumar came out publicly against his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial choice of the BJP.
The JD-U also expressed unhappiness over BJP leader LK Advani's decision to give up key party posts. BJP leaders have accused the JD-U of interfering in the BJP's internal affairs.
The BJP has also called a meeting of party leaders at Sushil Modi's residence in Patna to discuss the strained ties between the two allies.
"It is an emergency situation, so more meetings would be held to chalk out a strategy," BJP's CP Thakur told the media.
The JD-U is believed to be gearing up for life without the BJP.
According to JD-U leaders, the party is in touch with over a dozen BJP legislators, including ministers.
There was some good news for the JD-U though. Four of the six independent legislators have announced their support to the government led by Nitish Kumar.
Even the Congress, with its four legislators, is likely to support Nitish Kumar if he dumps the BJP.
The JD-U has 118 legislators, four short of majority in the house of 243 members.